The Jam Jar

Essay by shaunbd June 2004

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Choose a short story which sparked your interest due to a number of its features. After giving a short account of the plot, go on to examine in detail the features which sparked your interest.

A story which sparked my interest due to a number of its features is 'The Jam Jar' by Sheena Blackhall.

'The Jam Jar' is about Blackhall as a teenager enjoying catching bumble bees in a jam jar. In the summer of 1964, her home town - Aberdeen, comes to a standstill after it is infected by a serious disease called typhoid. When she catches the bug she begins to see things which are not really there and is quickly transferred into a fever hospital. One day she goes for a short walk which faces the sea, but when she sits down to relax, the fresh air makes her fall asleep. She wakes up and realises what she has done, but when she arrives back at the ward the patients are all lined up waiting for her.

She finally comes to the conclusion that there was no escape. When she recovered and went home, she headed straight for the garden and lay down beside the flowers. Her neighbour's child comes in with a jam jar and suddenly captured a dozy bumble. She leapt up and hit the jar out of his hand letting the bumble escape. Even though the child was not happy she knew that nothing or no one should ever be imprisoned.

The features of the Jam Jar which I will examine are - the style and the theme.

The first feature of style we notice is that the story is written in first person. In a piece such as The Jam Jar, it is more effective if it is written...